Republicans are disavowing a GOP candidate who said “we should hang” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) in a fundraising letter.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) removed Florida congressional candidate George Buck from the party’s Young Guns program, which supports candidates in House races, National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) spokesman Chris Pack confirmed Wednesday.
NRCC head Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) also agreed with the decision, according to Pack.
The candidate sent a fundraising letter last week calling for the execution of Omar in response to unsubstantiated reports that the congresswoman works for the government of Qatar, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
“We should hang these traitors where they stand,” the email said.
Buck in an initial statement to the Times denied that he wrote the email, saying “That was not me. I did not see that. I would never talk like that.” But then he sent another statement to the newspaper, which implied he would stand by the letter.
“Anyone who commits treason against the United States should be tried to the full extent of the law,” he said in the second comment to the Times.
The Republican Party advocates for party members to donate to Young Guns candidates, who have reached an appropriate threshold of campaign organization. The only other Young Gun candidate vying for Rep. Charlie Crist’s (R-Fla.) seat is former health care lobbyist and congressional staffer Amanda Makki, according to the Times.
Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) released a statement earlier Wednesday saying, “There’s no place for inciting violence in politics.”
“Instead of doubling down on these disgraceful comments, the candidate ought to apologize unequivocally and denounce these unacceptable statements,” Scalise said in the statement.
The Hill reached out to McCarthy’s office and Buck’s campaign for comment. The NRCC retweeted Politico’s Jake Sherman post on the news.
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) December 4, 2019
The president and several GOP lawmakers have verbally criticized Omar, who Trump called “an American-hating socialist.” Twitter has previously banned the campaign account for Omar’s opponent, Republican Danielle Stella, after she tweeted lynching comments about Omar.
Updated: 2:59 p.m.